350 species of birds, of the more than 9,700 worldwide, have been reliably recorded within Armenia, 245 of which have been proven to breed here and around 170 have been found during winter.
A Rewarding Destination for Every Keen Birder
Armenia is located between the Black and Caspian Seas, an ideal bio-geographic bridge between Europe and Asia, and therefore home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Worldwide, there are approximately 9,700 species of birds, 350 of which have been reliably recorded within Armenia, 245 of which have been proven to breed here and around 170 have been found in winter. This may not seem like a lot, but by comparison, the whole of Europe has 550 species and the entire landmass of the former Soviet Union has only 750!
The richness in birds and other wildlife in conjunction with the famous hospitality of the local people, delicious cuisine, numerous ancient historical and cultural monuments and some of the most impressive scenery in the Western Palae-arctic, makes Armenia a worthwhile and rewarding destination for every keen birder.
The country lies on the main migration route between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Following a major flight path, more than 180 species pass through Armenia on the way to and from their wintering grounds that spread from the Middle East to South Africa. With its diverse terrain and vegetation zones overlapping in such a compact area, Armenia attracts diverse bird species that would otherwise not be found so close together. Thus, it is possible to observe desert and forest birds, waterfowl, high plains and alpine species living in the same area – sometimes even within the same square mile!
A Variety of Bird Species
Lakes Sevan and Arpi hold the world’s largest breeding colonies of Armenian Gull and Citrine Wagtail, while the latter lake also supports a small breeding population of Dalmatian Pelican. Fish farms in the Ararat plane are home to Glossy Ibis, Pygmy Cormorant, Marbled, Ferruginous and White-headed Ducks. The reeds and scrub here host Ménétries, Moustached, Paddyfield and Savi Warblers; on the surrounding salt planes, White-tailed Lapwing breed, and the banks of canals are inhabited by White-winged, Whiskered Terns and Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters.
The deciduous mountain forests are full of a variety of birds, among which are the Lesser-spotted Eagle, Black, Green and Middle-spotted Woodpeckers, Samamisicus Redstart, Greenish Warbler, Mountain Chiffchaff, Red-breasted and Semi-collared Flycatchers. The talus slopes that have scrub above the timberline are home to Caucasian Grouse, Magna Bluethroat and Radde’s Accentor, while the mountain springs in the alpine meadows are home to Horned Lark, Caucasian Twite and Red-fronted Serin. Crags and scree adjoining the alpine meadows are inhabited by Caspian Snowcock, Crimson-winged Finch and Wallcreeper.